Alabama Champions: Group works to help black moms breastfeed
Alabama Champions is an ABC 33/40 series highlighting people who make a difference where they live.
When it comes to the best source of nutrition for babies, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends breastfeeding whenever possible. That message, however, does not necessarily resonate with many African-American mothers. A grassroots organization is out to change that.
Jennifer Miller helped found the breastfeeding support group, Chocolate Milk Mommies after having her first child and running into complications. She realized she had no one to turn to.
"As far as my sister, my brother's girl. No one in my family has breastfed their baby," Miller said.
Not an uncommon story for many women in the group. According to the CDC, breastfeeding can be a struggle for black women. They have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rates and the shortest breastfeeding duration among all ethnic groups. Miller says along with a lack of support many black women face financial challenges. That force them back to work sooner than other groups and make it hard to afford a lactation consultant. That's where chocolate milk mommies' private Facebook group comes in.
"One of them kept telling me you can get through this. It's going to be OK. I was like i don't know. I was very overwhelmed," new mom Jane Johnson said.
Chocolate Milk Mommies also meets twice a month providing a space for moms to connect and share. Plus, they have hosted a community baby shower and Mother's Day brunch.
"They were there like sister. Like sisters," Johnson said.
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